If your idea of a great night in is to settle onto the couch with a tub of popcorn and get swept away in a romantic comedy, you are certainly not alone.
Many of these films focus on the premise that a Prince Charming will come and whisk his true love away into the sunset on a white horse. But this is a fantasy right? We don’t really believe that out there is the ‘one’, who will find us against all the odds and we’ll end up living happily ever after?
I mean, shouldn’t women take matters into their own hands if they want to find love?
It may have been true that in the past, men were expected to make the first move, whilst women played a more passive role in their own future. But this is the 21st century, and times have changed.
However, there’s still a general sense that women should sit back and let the man pursue them. Media suggests it through these stereotypical romantic comedies that pile out of Hollywood each year. And strong women, who do make their own choices, are labelled by the press as ‘man-hunters’.
So why are we given this impression from different sources that it is the norm for the man to chase the woman?
How the media portrays unrealistic relationships
Romcoms, the staple diet of the diehard romantic, often portray situations that would not happen in real life, but at the same time influence those who are watching.
A study conducted at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh blames romcoms for unrealistic expectations in love.
The study reviewed 40 films, including Runaway Bride, Notting Hill, You’ve Got Mail, Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner and While You Were Sleeping.
Research into these films found several common themes they believed to be unrealistic and harmful in real life. These included; instant trust with a new partner, perfect sex from the outset, and no need for communication.
The university’s Dr Bjarne Holmes said: “Marriage counsellors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it.
“We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people’s minds.
“The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realise.”
Further evidence showed that many romcom fans believed in a ‘perfect relationship’, a ‘soul mate’ they were ‘destined to meet’ who could ‘read their minds’.
“We all want to be successful in our relationships,” said Dr Holmes. “We want to be the special one and meet the special one. Unfortunately people tend to believe the Hollywood idea of a perfect relationship.
“That is just unrealistic. People feel if their relationship is not like a Hollywood film then it is not any good.”
Women being proactive in dating
So there you have it. Life’s no Hollywood film. There’s no director, no script, no extras, no set.
Except there is. You are in control of your own life. You direct the action, you make up the script and you call the shots.
Which includes your love life. Because there’s no Prince Charming, no fateful meeting about to happen, and no telepathic mind reading, but there can be a happy ending. It all depends on whether you want to take charge of finding that someone wonderful.
Being proactive significantly increases the chances of finding a life partner. And if you’re not quite sure where to start, joining a matchmaking service like Elan London can be a great way to dip your toe into the dating world.
Elan London have consultants who are well versed in relationship and people skills. They work closely with clients to understand the key values and issues that are important. They then use these findings in order to help source a suitable partner for introduction, so all the hard work of looking for a potential date has already been done for you.
But whichever method you use to find your life partner, be proactive, because Prince Charming is not coming to get you!